Public Info

Union County Police Officer Graduates from ATF’s National Firearms Examiner Academy

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that Officer Matthew A. Schaible of the Union County Police Department is one of 11 individuals from around the country to graduate from The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Firearms Examiner Academy.

The year-long program, conducted by ATF’s National Laboratory Center, provided the newest cadre of students with training in the fundamentals of firearms and tool mark examination, which serves as the foundation for supervised development into qualified examiners.

“On behalf of the Freeholder Board, congratulations to Officer Schaible for completing this rigorous, challenging course of study,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “We are all very proud of him, and we look forward to his continued contributions to the Union County Police Department.

“For his commitment to excellence in his profession, Officer Schaible is a role model for the community, and an exemplary representative for a police force that is continually expanding its knowledge base in the service of crime prevention and detection,” said Freeholder Linda Carter, who chairs the Freeholder Board’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Officer Schaible was a member of the 17th graduating class of the ATF course, which included participants from California, Arizona, Tennessee, Nebraska, Ohio, North Carolina and the New Jersey State Police.

“Police work becomes more complex and technical with each passing year, and it is imperative to maintain an up-to-date skill set,” said Andy Moran, Director of the Union County Department of Public Safety.

The class, which took place from October 2016 to September 2017, focused on laboratory safety, protocols as well as ethical standards and principles that govern the admissibility of expert testimony in court.

Students received training in the history of black powder, the evolution of early firearms, the evolution and manufacturing of modern ammunition, and microscopy and instrumentation. Additional classes covered firearms identification, the manufacture of modern firearms, preliminary examination of firearms, bullet examination and comparison, tool mark examination, comparison and identification, and restoration of obliterated markings.

Also included were terminal ballistics, gunshot residue, shot patterns, bullet path analysis and the examination and comparison of cartridges, cartridge cases, shot shells, and fired shot shells.

After returning to their local and state law enforcement agencies, the graduates will continue their training for approximately one year at their home laboratories. Upon completion, they will be able to independently and completely examine and compare physical evidence related to firearms and tool mark identification, reach conclusions and render opinions relating to their examinations and comparisons, and provide expert testimony in a professional and impartial manner.

The National Firearms Examiner Academy’s standardized program, with the support of the Association of Firearms and Toolmark Examiners, has graduated 188 students from 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands since its inception in 1999.

Photo caption: Union County Police Patrolman Matthew Schaible (4th from left), a new graduate of the ATF National Firearms Examiner Academy, is joined by (l-r) Sergeant Krsysztof Audinis, Captain Robert McGuire, Public Safety Director Andrew Moran, Chief Chris Debbie and Lieutenant Michael Sandford.

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